Date Released: 04 February 2015
SIPTU has called on the management of Pallas Foods to meet with its workers’ representatives to discuss a threat to make 65 people redundant at the company’s distribution depot in Newcastlewest, county Limerick.
SIPTU Organiser, Pat Condon, said: “As recently as the last week in 2014, management were reassuring workers that their jobs were secure at this distribution depot. However, last Friday (30th January) the same management called a meeting of warehouse staff and informed them that it intended to implement 65 redundancies.
“At that meeting management detailed a voluntary redundancy package adding that if there were insufficient volunteers compulsory redundancies would follow. A further option was for workers to transfer to the company’s new plant opened on the edge of Dublin.
“Despite many of those affected being members of SIPTU, management has refused to engage in negotiations with the workers’ representatives as they have requested. This is yet another example of the company’s disrespectful treatment of its staff.”
He added: “When the company’s facility was being constructed in Dublin, commitments where given that it would not affect employment in Newcastlewest. Pallas Foods has now turned its back on a loyal workforce and a locality that served them well over the last thirty-three years.
“The law requires that a company attempting to implement this level of redundancies engages with the workers or their representatives in discussions on how to ameliorate job losses and lessen the blow to the local economy. In the coming days, SIPTU members will be considering what actions must be taken in order to ensure this company engages with its employees in the respectful manner which they deserve.”
The Pallas Foods distribution depot in Newcastlewest has been in operation since 1981. The Geary family sold Pallas Foods in 2009 to Sysco, a US based multi-national. Members of the Geary family remain involved in the management of the company.